June 1, 2022
 in 
Design

How to Choose the Right Platform for your Project (Squarespace vs. Webflow)

Squarespace is a great platform to get your website up and running fast, but for more established website you might have to consider using Webflow for performance and efficiency.

Eric Phung

What You Need to Know Between Squarespace and Webflow?

Squarespace is an All in One platform that offers website building and marketing tools for your business.

You can build a full scope website from scratch or use a Squarespace template to start with. There are many things you can do with Squarespace and it often comes at a quick turnaround time.

However, there are certain limitations that you cannot overcome, namely, design limitations.

Although Squarespace offers the ability to add Custom CSS as well as Javascript (Code Injection sitewide and page setting), Squarespace structure limits the amount of customization we could achieve.

That is the HTML elements on Squarespace. You will notice that Squarespace generates their own CSS classes, and the blocks are all pre-built so you cannot add additional div blocks to further customize your section layout.

For example, we have a layout like this. If you are to customize the CSS, you would need to target the SectionID to make that specific change. Here we are using margin to customize the position of the text.

The problem occurs when your website resizes. Different breakpoints will cause the margin to overlap, and more often than not, you will find yourself stuck in an endless loop of doing revisions so that it looks good on certain breakpoints.

Note: when working with Custom CSS on Squarespace, it's better to use Section ID because you can reuse the CSS for other sections on other pages. To find Section ID, you can use this Block ID to find it with just a click.

With Squarespace, a fully custom design website with a complicated layout can be done but that would require extensive effort to make your layout responsive.

Why should you build your custom design in Webflow as opposed to Squarespace?

If you have a complicated design layout, we highly recommend that you build your project on Webflow instead.

This does not mean that Squarespace cannot handle it, it only means that you are doing yourself a favor by saving the extensive revisions, time, and money.

With the same layout as illustrated above, we will now break it down to how you can achieve the same layout in Webflow with just a couple of additional div blocks. A div block is just an empty container where you can add CSS styling to style it exactly how you want your structure to look like.

In this case, we are going to add 3 div blocks, one to each row. Each one of them will be set to flex stretched, and the main container will be set to flex vertically stretched. And just like that, your layout is completely responsive with just under 20 seconds. No more playing with media queries and trying to pull your hair out when the client asks you why their site layout is not the way it should be.

We often help our clients with the CSS on their Squarespace site to customize their look, however, we recommend them to migrate to Webflow if design is the core structure of their business.

We have a favorite analogy: why try to customize a Toyota to make it look like a Ferrari when you can just build the Ferrari from scratch. Not that we can build a Ferrari, but you get the point. In Squarespace, you can only customize the look slightly different, but you cannot tamper with their source code and the HTML structure, making it hard to create a custom layout.

When should you use Webflow?

Webflow is getting more attention due to its capabilities as a visual website builder. The way Webflow works allows you to create  a complete custom experience. While this is great, Webflow requires extensive knowledge of how the web works, primarily with HTML, CSS, and JS.

Webflow is known as a no-code tool, but you will find yourself in a much better position if you have a little knowledge about coding.

With that being said, the learning curve with Webflow is generally higher than any other website builders in the market. This is why designers like to use Squarespace to create their own websites.

As a designer, you would design your website in a design tool such as Figma or Adobe XD, then you will translate your designs into a fully functional website on Squarespace. Experienced web designers with knowledge of coding will allow them to build a complete custom website on Squarespace, while maintaining a decent amount of original pre-built building blocks of Squarespace elements.

If not, you will end up designing beautiful websites, but difficult to build out without heavy Custom CSS or Javascript. This is when you should switch over to Webflow so that you can have full control over your website.

If you need our help to migrate and develop a Webflow website for your business, get in touch with us. We work with creative agencies and small businesses to design and develop their website with SEO in mind.